We are both only-children and high school sweethearts that celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary in 2009. We are true soul mates, more deeply in love today than yesterday but not nearly as much as tomorrow. Our lives are blessed with the love of friends, family and a magnificent tabby cat named King Tut (see photo of Our Travel Agent).
Pretty early on in our relationship, we knew that our destiny did not include the classic mid-20th century American dream of children and home ownership. Indeed, Laura’s mom had suspicions that her daughter wasn’t destined for children when she used to stand her dolls on their heads to put their pants on. (That’s the practical way to do it, after all!)
We have passions, dreams and destinies to fulfill but their mode and manner are rooted in less “conventional” foundations. It became clear over time that our relationship itself was part of what we had to offer; others seem to find inspiration from the love that we share and the hard work that we invest in growing as individuals and as a couple. So, we strive to always share ourselves and our hard-earned lessons openly and lovingly when those moments present themselves.
At the center of our inspiration and motivation is love—love that surrounds us, love that we share, and love of travel. It informs virtually every choice that we make. Travel is truly our lifelong passion.
Did our parents know that those family trips would turn into such a fervent lifestyle? Maybe Ted’s parents did. They were devoted travelers themselves and Ted took to traveling like Rand to McNally. But Laura… she was a little girl that got so nervous she would hurl just before leaving on vacation each and every time. My, how that has changed. (Sorry, Mom and Dad. I didn’t mean to be such a pain!)
Our honeymoon in New England certainly fanned the flames of our travel passion as we set off on our first journey as independent adults. We look back at our itinerary and laugh. Not having a sense of distances, we reserved hotels only thirty-minutes away from one another. And then there was the night that we went to the infamous Custy’s seafood buffet in Rhode Island… we found ourselves so overstuffed with crustaceans that we fell fast asleep on separate beds! Not your typical honeymoon scenario, nor was walking the Freedom Trail or discovering the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials. But, all of these experiences not only provided us with lasting memories, they laid the foundation of our passion for learning and living through travel.
There are a few points from that honeymoon trip onward when our perspective on travel expanded exponentially. Not-to-worry, we’re not going to tell you all of those stories. Let’s just say there were catalysts… the trip to Canada on the way to our local grocery store… the late-night conversation with the Kuwaiti-owner of a Moroccan restaurant in Toronto… "The Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou" exhibit in New Orleans… Laura’s parents move from Central New York to Texas… our love affair with Hawaii… the hospitable people of Puerto Rico… the essence of life in the rainforest… and some that defy words.
Our reasons for travel are many and they deepen with every journey. Where we once could “do” four attractions in one day, we now often devote much of a day to immersing in the moment, whether it’s chatting with the elderly Bajan lady sitting next to us on the public bus or wading in a cool rainforest stream keeping company with no one but nature. We are better for each and every encounter. We consider it our responsibility to bring back as much of the essence of those experiences as we can, to infuse that learning into our everyday lives and the lives of those around us.
We think that Mark Twain said it best; his words have become our travel mantra:
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…Hmmm… this “About Us” tab turned into something very different than we expected. Instead of characterizing who we are by what we do for a living, where we went to college, or what we look like, we’ve discovered in writing “About Us” that we don’t find ourselves defined by any of these things. That’s pretty cool!
Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. ~ Mark Twain
Okay, for the one or two of you that have made it to the bottom of this self-reflective essay and are saying, “Yeah, but what DO you do for a living?”… We have both served twenty-five years in our respective professions. Ted is a talented information technology professional, a brilliant diagnostician, and a gifted business trainer (Uh huh, Laura wrote that part--but it’s all true!). Laura is a skillful health care marketing and public relations professional, a fabulous networker, and is passionate about natural alternatives for personal and environmental health. (Laura blushes at Ted’s kind words). But, as we find ourselves currently NOT employed, we’re particularly grateful that we do not feel defined by our professions or employment status.
As we embark on our journey into America, we are exploring the broader question of “How do we best use our skills to be of service, generate income, continue to pursue our goals, and protect our well-being in later years?” There are plenty of win-win answers to this question and we’re on an expedition to find them.
Feel free to come along for the ride!
-- Ted and Laura
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